cast of characters
I received your last letters, I'm glad to hear that everything is well.
We are now in Dechaine, where we hope to have de Chevalier's father declared sane again. Since the whole affair was almost certainly a matter of bribing the judge, Flaubert du Doré, that might not be so easy. We are not as sure about the physician, he might actually have acted in good faith.
The family of de Chevalier owns a town house in Dechaine, but clearly no-one had lived there for years. We were all not that eager to stay there and despite de Chevalier's protest, we took lodgings at a nearby inn. De Chevalier had stayed behind for some time and insisted that someone does care for the house, since the gate opened without problems and seemed free of rust.
More to appease him that anything, we went back after we had a little rest. The gate was very much rusty. The gazebo in the garden collapsed when I looked hard at it. Both Logan and Lucia almost were hit by falling shingles. The doorknocker came off when I tried to use it. Undaunted by all this, de Chevalier insisted that the house was perfect, just in need of some cleaning and possibly a layer of paint and that it would be much more welcoming if we gave it some respect.
I kicked open the door and de Chevalier entered the house, promptly breaking through the floorboards and almost getting hit by the chandelier. But he's not the man to let himself be stopped by such minor things and advanced up the stairs. Sometimes I have my doubts about his sanity or at the very least about his good sense.
Ramon and I followed him, keeping to the walls, we couldn't let him go alone. I found all the doors leading into the entrance hall locked while Ramon made his way up the stairs after de Chevalier. Logan and Lucia decided to take a look at the back of the house and as soon as the left, the front door fell shut even though we had propped it open. At the same time, the door in front of me opened and I look down the barrel of a musket. The same had happened to de Chevalier and we all were taken prisoner. It seems we had stumbled upon the hideout of the local thieves' guild.
They took our rapiers and firearms, but did not find (or even search for) my knives. Logan and Lucia had been captured as well. However, the leader of the guild, who asked us to call him Robert for now, is a man of good sense and we agreed that we could help each other. The guild is a fairly big and sophisticated operation and they have access to much information, but they have no eyes or ears near the judge. That is where we will come in. Du Doré has a few ... unhealthy interests and he is always eager to find out things people are hiding.
So we decided to set a trap for him, with one of us posing either as someone who shares du Doré's interests or as someone who can be blackmailed. Logan suggested first Ramon and then Lucia as bait for that trap, but I will not let Lucia put herself in such danger and I'm a much better liar than Ramon. It's not as if I hadn't done something like this before. I'm not about to participate in whatever the judge does for pleasure, so blackmail it will be. I need to give that some thought.
I'll write again when I can, we will probably be staying in Dechaine for a while so you can reach me here.
De Chevalier's player had to work hard to get us to even set foot in the house. some of us became suspicious when the chandelier came crashing down and stopped just short of crushing de Chevalier, that was a bit too perfect, along with the shingles that always missed us by just that bit.
I'm still considering what exactly Marcello's fake secret will be, but I'm tending towards having him be a murderer who torches the houses of his (female) victims to hide his crimes. It's not as though there was CSI around and all we need is a recent fire in a neighbouring town to get the rumours started. It will also be something that will interest the judge not only for the purpose of blackmail. That man has some seriously wrong hobbies.
I was immediately offered the "women killer"-suggestion by three different people who do not play in the group. I have no idea what if anything that says about me and the characters I usually play. In any case, I'm looking forward to getting Marcello into trouble.